Saturday 25 November 2017

'There will be gardaí on the street' - Assistant Commissioner bids to reassure public

Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan
Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan has moved to reassure the public about the feared strike by gardaí, guaranteeing there will be officers on the streets on Friday.

Mr Nolan also told an Oireachtas Committee there will be a "significantly reduced" service if the industrial action goes ahead, but that emergency calls will be responded to and he gave details of garda members that will be turning up for work.

He told TDs that he wouldn't comment on the ongoing negotiations between garda associations and the government who are attempting to resolve the row over pay.

He said the talks are continuing and it's "a very delicate situation".

But Mr Nolan gave details of the contingency plan being developed to police the country on Friday if industrial action by more than 12,000 gardaí can't be averted.

He said that detailed planning is ongoing for what he conceded may be a "significantly reduced Garda service".

"What I can guarantee you is that there will be gardaí on the streets," he added.

"There will be garda members working on the 4th of November and calls for assistance will be responded to. There may have to be a priority with regard to some of them but they will be responded to," he said.

He said the actual number of gardaí that will report for duty is "a matter of negotiations".

He said that 450 student gardaí will be available, as will 400 probationer members, and approximately 220 senior officers such as superintendents, chief superintendents and assistant commissioners.

Mr Nolan said that the staff associations have also said that the armed Emergency and Regional Response Units will also be available for duty and the Technical Bureau and National Surveillance  Unit will have "capabilities".

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